Atlantic Notes: Simmons, Sixers, Porzingis, Poeltl

Nets guard Ben Simmons will remain sidelined for at least a little while longer due to a nerve impingement in the lower left side of his back, according to statements from the team and agent Bernie Lee (Twitter links via Brian Lewis of The New York Post).

As Lewis observes (via Twitter), Simmons required surgery in 2022 on multiple herniated disks on the right side of his back, then dealt with a nerve impingement. However, this issue is affecting the other side of his back and isn’t nearly as severe, Lee says. The club indicated an update on Simmons’ status will be provided in a week.

“He’s not experiencing anything similar to what he’s gone through in the past,” Lee said of his client, per Lewis (Twitter links). “And this is something that the expectation is that with the proper kind of rehab he’ll be able to resume his season in a short period of time without any issue.

“It definitely should be on the shorter side of things. It’s really a day-to-day kind of evaluation situation. What has to happen is the area has to calm down. Once it calms down there’s a period of reactivity that’s built into things.”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Having acquired a handful of draft assets in their James Harden trade, how are the Sixers looking to use those assets on the trade market? President of basketball operations Daryl Morey spoke in a recent appearance on The Rights to Ricky Sanchez podcast about what type of player the team would like to add. “I would say first off, they need to be pretty solid on both ends,” Morey said, per Marc Stein at Substack. “As you get into the playoffs, it gets very hard for your top guys to be elite one way. … The other thing would be we probably need them to have a bit of play-making — sort of connector, ball-movement aspects. We are a little short on that and it becomes more important in the playoffs as well.” As Stein notes, it’s perhaps no surprise, based on that description, that Raptors forward OG Anunoby “keeps coming up” as a potential 76ers target.
  • Rumors surfaced during his time with the Knicks that Kristaps Porzingis would be unhappy if he wasn’t treated as the “face of the franchise,” but the Celtics big man is satisfied with being a secondary option in Boston and says he was never focused on being the go-to guy. “Maybe it was falsely pushed,” Porzingis said of the old narrative, according to Stefan Bondy of The New York Post. “I never felt that way because today’s league is, other than [Nikola] Jokic and [Joel] Embiid, it’s a guard league. It’s mostly guards and small forwards. So I knew that if I want to win, you’re going to have to play with somebody… It was never an issue for me.”
  • Raptors center Jakob Poeltl spoke to Oren Weisfeld of Yahoo Sports Canada about his first stint in Toronto, the experience of watching the team win a title without him in 2019, and what it’s been like to rejoin the franchise several years later.
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